Jul 18

Road Ramblings road test car of the year 2016

Chris Goodsell with the Road Ramblings Road Test Car of the Year the Jaguar XE.The new year is here, almost 17years have past since the Millennium Bug, Sydney Olympics and Mad Cow disease caused panic in Europe.
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At the start of the new year I thought I’d reminisce by announcing the car that most impressed me on road test in 2016.

I’ve disregarded the Tesla at $23,0000 and F Type Jaguar at $200,000.

I thought it unfair to compare these pieces of masterful engineering with vehicles a quarter their price.

So what’s in the mix? Jaguar XE, Holden Commodore VE Calais Sportswagon V8, Hyundai Genesis, Kia Optima GT and the Holden Insignia.

My choice was narrowly the Jaguar XE.

In my 1700 kilometreroad test I took the XE up Thunderbolts Way to Armidale and found it an absolute pleasure, as it was coming down Waterfall Way.

The handling and braking were superb.

The stand out features in cars I tested this year that caught my eye were: adaptive cruise control, autonomous braking and a heads up display. These should be mandatory on all new cars.

They are that valuable.

The XE boasted all of them.

They make life so much easier and safer for the driver.

High tech driver assistance aids such as lane departure warning alert, park assist, rear view camera, cross traffic alert and a built in Satnav were standard on most cars I tested: A huge step forward in safety. All road test vehicles held a five star rating from ANCAP or the European equivalent.

So there you have it – my selection of the Road Ramblings Road Test Car of 2016, the Jaguar XE.

In 2016 I only tested three motorcycles, hopefully more in 2017 and I can announce a Road Ramblings Road Test motorcycle of the year.

Road Ramblings is heard on radio throughout Australia, brings you all your motoring news locally every Saturday at 5am on 101.5 Great Lakes FM and 10am on 106.5 Rhema FM. Also Sunday 2pm on 103.3 2TLP 2pm every Tuesday on 101.5 Great Lakes FM. Road Ramblings can also be heard worldwide on the web by going to 梧桐夜网roadramblings南京夜网.

You can now find and listen to Road Ramblings on Facebook. Have a look and give us a like.

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Jul 18

The Macleay on Instagram | photos

A week in the Macleay Valley on Instagram.
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The Macleay on Instagram | photos @kortnei.trask

@holliemae_98 Beautiful view to match a beautiful day. Thankyou to everyone that sent your beautiful birthday wishes, and to my gorgeous family and friends for spoiling me on my 18th ????

@krista_anne_photography Kempsey at 5:30AM The things you do before you go fishing ??✔️

@i_am_only_little My boyfriends parents house is like a tropical resort ?????☀️ #kempsey #nsw #lovethishouse #love #happy #relaxed

@jaz_truem Happy birthday Hollie @holliemae_98 #birthdays #18 #family #food #foodcoma #lunch

@jaz_truem Beautiful spot for Hollie’s birthday #nsw #birthdays #lunch #food #family #kempseyphotography #Kempsey #summer

@gbake1974 And the lovely Macleay river #goodmorning #macleayriver

@gbake1974 A few locals have an early morning dip #goodmorning #riverside #geeseswimming

@winterbo

@emrosedavis happy holidays! ?

@belsamjosh #nofilter needed for this beautiful morning view .. the sun had just come up and was hiding a little longer behind a cloud .. our #beautiful #macleayvalleycoast in #summertime

@portiapredny #roadtrip with @lau.design #idyllic #liquidlunch

@gbake1974 #goodmorning #sunrise #lovingit

@michelle___maree Riding with my honey. ?

@krista_anne_photography What a beautiful horse ? he was such a friendly one. #Kempsey #loversofhorses #horse

@rob0888 #kempsey#macleayriver#monday#bridge#december#summer#capricorn#river

@niknak_imt Merry Christmas from me to you ??????#niknakimadethat #aussiechristmas #christmasday #merrychristmas

@sarahlavina What’s the refund policy? ? #merrychristmas

@o_g_w Catch ups over wine

@raws_tawtus Christmas 2016 so far #family #christmas

@hannahbonbonnie A country Christmas is a great Christmas ??? #christmas #country #cows #paddock #farm #macleayvalley #southwestrocks #outdoors #rural #australia

@firstep.ilprimopasso La nostra cena di #Natale… Saluti sorridenti e godetevi le feste!!! #BuonNatale!!! #ColVinoCanguroSiVola

@butterlegs Having a hit with my old man, @maddisonbutterfield2002 and @lydiawillyhands #caddyshack #butterfieldchristmasclassic

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Jul 18

Leeton police hunt knife-wielding man

A MAN was injured by a man wielding a knife during a break and enter on Whitton Road in Leeton on Thursday night.TWO Leeton shire residents wereinjured by a man wielding a knife during a break and enter in Leeton shire on Thursday night.
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The incident occurred about6.45pm whena man, who was armed with a knife, entered a home on Whitton Road and assaulted a 63-year-old male resident and a 61-year-old female resident.

The man then fled the location.

Police said the pairreceived “non-life-threatening injuries”.

The two residents were treated for their injuries, which included bruising and lacerations. The man also suffered minor injuries after he was assaulted with the knife.

Police are still searching for the man who led them on a chase after fleeing the scene.

The offender was last seen abandoning a red Honda four-wheel quad bike after the police pursuit on Toorak Road.

The pursuitincluded a number of streets in the area, but police terminated the chase for safety reasons.

A crime scene was established and forensically examined by officers, with a number of items of interests located and seized.

Police are calling for any witnesses to come forward to assist them in finding the offender.

He has been described as being of Aboriginal appearance, about 35 years-old, between 180 and 185 centimetres tall, black hair, brown eyes and has anathletic build.

The man was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, blue shorts and a black baseball-style cap.

Residents with any information about the incident can contact Leeton police on 6953 1399 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 and should quote the police reference numberE62862105.

All information can be given anonymously.

Residents have also been advisednot approach the offender and shouldcontact police immediately if he is sighted.

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Jul 18

WA Brekkie BlogFriday, December 30, 2016

Good morning! Here areyour headlines from around regional Australia and beyond. Scroll down and refresh for weather, news and more.
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WA Brekkie Blog | Friday, December 30, 2016 The images are of drugs related to the recent incidents and show the powder contained inside a capsule. Photo: WA Police.

TweetFacebookWA |Hospitalisations spark drug warningWA Police, ChemCentre and health authorities have issued a warning after two men suffered life threatening reactions to illicit drugs.

Two of the men, aged between 20 and 29-years-old, were critically unwell and received emergency treatment after inhaling a combination of powdered substances which they mistakenly believed was MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy.

ESPERANCE |Detectives target drug dealers and couriersEsperance detectives have targeted drug dealers and couriers over the Christmas break, by seizing drugs and charging people through executing multiple misuse of drug act warrants.

With assistance from Esperance Police multiple people have been charged.|detectives target drug dealers and couriers

BUSSELTON | Southbound festival day three | PHOTOSSouthbound went off with a bang for its final day of bringing stellar national and international acts to Busselton. Check out the photos here.

MANDURAH |Council pooh-poohs objections to new toiletsVisitorsusing trees and low-lying bush to relieve themselves near Northport Beach, Wannanup,prompted council to approve the installation of a new toilet facility in the reserve on Tuesday last week.

Regional newsLAUNCESTON | Falls pill-testing trial pushHarm Reduction Australia says Tasmania could offer a pill-testing service at Falls Festival as a trial that other states could follow.

The organisation’s president, Gino Vumbaca, said he would love to see Tasmania lead the way on the issue, which has been a hot topic nationwide in the lead-up to festival season.

Harm Reduction Australia wants Tasmania to lead the nation in a festival pill-testing trial. Picture: Scott Gelston

ULLADULLA |South Coast men face court after biggest cocaine bust in Australian historyTwo South Coast men are among 15 arrested in connection to an alleged multi-million dollar drug syndicate importing cocaine via Sydney’s iconic fish markets and other NSW ports.

Michael Pirrello, 33, and Francesco Pirello, 39, were arrested in Ulladulla and refused bail in Nowra Local Court on Thursday.

AFP officers stand guard over some of the 500kilo cocaine seized during the Christmas Day bust. Picture: Kate Geraghty

BENDIGO | Victoriabracingfor January 1 power price hikeVictorians could pay an average of $230 a year more for their combined electricity and gas bills in 2017 as a price hike comes into effect from January 1.

Consumers are being urged to shop around to avoid price gouging, with the bulk of the electricity price rise blamed on the looming closure of the Hazelwood power station.

Expect to pay more.

BALLARAT | Region’s road toll highest in 20 yearsRoad authorities are making a last minute New Year plea to drivers to stop the region’s road toll, which is the worst in 20 years, from further increasing.

This year the combined Ballarat, Moorabool, Hepburn and Pyrenees government arearecorded 21 road fatalities –more than four times higher than in 2015.

Be safe, plead police.

TAMWORTH | First buskers arrive in country music capitalFrom the Kimberley to Tamworth. Pete Brandy and John Till of BackRoadshave arrived in Tamworth before the Country Music Festivalto sink their teeth into Tamworth’s city’s music atmosphere.

With just over 20 days to go until the big event kicks off, Brandy said locals could check out BackRoads in the city’s main street, and he invited them to come along and listen to the traditional styles of country music including Johnny Cash and Noel Haggard.

Pete Brandy from the Kimberley with David Alexander of Cheapa Music in Tamworth on Thursday. Photo: Simon McCarthy

NOWRA | Sharks swarm Hyams BeachA NSW Department of Primary Industries helicopter took an amazing aerial photograph of a large number of whaler sharks on Thursday. The twitter account @NSWSharkSmarttweeted a picture of 17 whaler sharks in shallow water off Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay about 9:30am.

A aerial photograph of 17 whaler sharks in shallow water at Hyams Beach. Photo: Twitter – @NSWSharkSmart

Just because …You’ve been at work all week? Be like this on Friday:

https://t.co/lU7dnkhuJrpic.twitter南京夜网/azDGPLBNjm

— The Ministry of GIFs (@GIFs) December 29, 2016National newsJulie Bishop backs Israel rather than the US over UN resolution

Australia has broken ranks with the United States and New Zealand over Israel, indicating that it would most likely have opposed the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israelisettlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Julie Bishop said the government had ”consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel”. Photo: Andrew Meares

January 1 price rises and benefit cuts: what you need to know

They say life can change in an instant. Never is that more true than when the clock strikes midnight on December 31.

Along with hangovers and dark circles under their eyes, Australians will awake on Sunday to a host of increased fees, charges, changed regulations and reduced benefits.

Australians will awake on Sunday to a host of increased fees, changed regulations and reduced benefits. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

Federal government spends record amount on digital advertising

The federal government spent a record amount on digital advertising in Australia last financial year, with growth in spending on new platforms outpacing all traditional media except for television.

Spending to promote the Turnbull government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda cost $14.9 million. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

National weather radarInternational newsIndonesian police point to Islamic State after 2016 spike in terrorism cases

Indonesia’s police chief has attributed a sharp rise in the number of alleged terrorists handled by his force to the influence of Islamic State and the defeats it is experiencing in the Middle East.

The number of alleged terrorists dealt with by Indonesian police in 2016 was more than double the previous year, as ISencouraged terror cells to carry out attacks beyond Syria.

An Indonesian policeman stands guard in front of a blast site in the aftermath of the January 14 Jakarta attacks. Photo: Getty Images

ASX bounces off early losses to clock new 2016 highs

Shares rallied off early losses to send the benchmark top 200 index to new 2016 highs and within a whisker of 5700 points, as strength in resources names and the big banks outweighed losses in listed property and utility sectors.

A poor lead from Wall St made for a difficult start to the second last trading session for the year, made even trickier as a host of listed trusts traded without the rights to their shareholder payouts.

Continued strength in commodity prices has buoyed the ASX. Photo: Rio Tinto

On this day | December 301703Tokyo hit by Earthquake; about 37,000 die

1924AstronomerEdwin Hubbleformally announces existence of other galactic systems at meeting of the American Astronomical Society

1992 Shane Warne takes 7-52 to lead Australian MCG win vs. West Indies

Jul 18

Something in the water at the lagoon at ‘Brucedale’

This week’s photo is a postcard image from a private collection. It was originally sold at one of Bathurst’s oldest and most prestigious stores, Webb and Company, whose main general store was always in George Street. PICTURE PERFECT: A peaceful and serene image from “Brucedale”, taken by a well-known Bathurst photographer.
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The peaceful and serene rural image at “Brucedale” was taken by a well-known Bathurst photographer whose buggy can be seen on the other side of the small lagoon.

Reverend William Lisle, who was the fourth Rector of the Holy Trinity Church at Kelso after he arrived in 1844, was a regular visitor to “Brucedale”.

An Englishman born in 1811, he arrived in Sydney Harbour on April 14, 1842 with Rebecca Ann Wainman Carter, who he had married the previous year.At Kelso, Reverend Lisle was soon known as one who would ride through sleet and snow to visit his rural parishioners.

The Reverend visited “Brucedale” on August 12, 1857 to conduct a service at this well-known property. He stayed the night before returning to Kelso. He noted in one of his diaries that he had partaken in the “evening meal at the lagoon”, so I assume it is this lagoon that he is speaking of.

Reverend Lisle does not mention taking any of his original four children or his then second wife, Sarah Ellen Suttor, a sister of William Henry Suttor of “Brucedale”, whom Reverend Lisle had married about a year after his first wife died during childbirth. The couple had two more children.

The late John Suttor recalled that when he was a boy, the lagoon was used as a place for picnics and other special occasions for the Suttor family at “Brucedale”.

The Suttor children would use it to swim in as well as catching craybobs. The water was a bit deeper in the early days and many of the Suttor children and children of other employees learnt to swim there.

David Suttor, the late John Suttor’s son, and who now owns “Brucedale”, told me that this natural lagoon is still there, though there are a few more willow trees around the edge now. These days it is only a shallow lagoon -about 750mm deep when full.

Webb and Company’s ‘Western House’ had printed and sold a series of local black and white postcard images for at least five decades.Many were printed in Germany, with all postcards having their name “E. Webb & Co., Western House, Bathurst” printed at the bottom.

This postcard image is number 123. The postcard is named “The Lagoon, Brucedale, N.S.W”. There are at least 190 postcard images that were in the Webb series, so the company certainly had a selection. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has a numbered Webb postcard higher than 190.

Local and well-known photographer Mr H.C. Beavis took many of the local photos, but not all in the series.

Any form of water could be a danger in the early days. The early Burial Register at Holy Trinity Church had a provision made for an entry for “cause of death”. A large number of them are “accidentally drowned”.

The early newspapers can back up this sad fact – for example, a report appeared in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser on March 27, 1832 concerning a coroner’s inquest “that was held on Saturday, at Brucedale, before John Liscombe, Esq., Coroner for Bathurst, on the body of an infant, two years old, belonging to a member of Mr. Suttor’s family, who met a premature death by falling into Winburndale Creek, whither it had made its way from the house – Verdict accidentally drowned.”

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Jul 18

Good coffee and great opportunity

Try the coffee: Brodie Cook, Libby Rippon, a disability support worker, and Matt Daniels are all working at The Little Acorn cafe in Terang. Picture: Amy PatonA unique new cafe in Terang, The Little Acorn, is touting its coffee as the best in town.
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But thecoffee isn’t the only special thing about the cafe –it’s also run by a local disability services provider, Cooinda Terang, and providespeople with the opportunity to develophands-on skills.

Brodie Cook, 20, has been attending Cooinda for about a yearand he was picked as one of 10 participantsto help run the cafe each week.

Mr Cook, who has worked about five shifts since the cafe opened on December 12,said at first he wasn’t sure about the idea.

“At the start I said ‘no’,but then I changed my mind,” he said.

“Then Ithought, ‘actually, give it a go’.”

Mr Cook does dishes and other jobs at the back of the cafe, and serves food to people.

“I love coming here,” he said. “I meet new people everyday. The community is so friendly and everything.”

The cafe came to fruition after council approved plans to develop a former maternal child health centre on High Street.

Cooinda Terang general manager Phil Hose said leadership at the organisation saw the vacant building as “an opportunity to do something different, a bit special.”

Mr Hose said the project was made possible by Corangamite Shire, and by also generous contributions from the WDEA trust and anop shop.

The cafe serves healthy food, and also features a shop with locally-produced goods.

Mr Hose said the cafe would provide positive opportunities for participants in Cooindaprograms.

“There are a lot of younger people attending Cooinda, a lot of people who aren’t people I would like to see staying in a disability system for their lives,” he said.

“I think they’ve got a great opportunity and great potential to be part of the work force, particularly with the NDIS coming next year.

“One of the key drivers of that is vocation and employment, and this will be one of the ways we can support that process as well.”

Mr Hose said the public had been very supportive of the cafe in its first few weeks in operation.

“It’s been going well,” he said. “There’s been lots of good comments on thefood and the coffee.”

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Jul 18

Cycle of success

FOCUSED: Lucas Hamilton of KordaMentha competes in the Prologue stage on the first day of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour 2016. Picture: Chris Putnam / Barcroft MediaArarat cyclist Lucas Hamilton will focus on the criterium, abandoning the time trial, in a bid to strengthen his quest for a national under-23 road race jersey in Ballarat this week.
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Hamilton is determined to improve on his runner-up finish in last year’s Cycling Australia Road National Championships.

Hamilton said the decision to race the criterium on Wednesday night was to aid hispreparationfor the road race.

“It is the first time I will have raced the criterium,” he said

“Not having any race days this year leading into the nationals, it should help prepare me better for the road race while giving me the chance to try something different riding along Ballarat’s Sturt Street.

“The criterium does not particularly suit me, it’s more about preparation for the road race.”

Hamilton finished second in the road race at last year’s event and is hoping the change in preparation will be what is needed to finish one better in 2017.

“Teams doworktogether but there are less teams in the under-23 race,” he said.

“So, it is still unpredictable during the race.”

The road race course is 10.2 kilometres with cyclists doing 10 laps, a total of132.6 kilometres.

Hamilton said the course is the same circuit as 2016.

“It is a course that suits me, the top of the climb is still sixor seven kilometres to the finish,” he said.

“Most guys would have raced on it a few times, Itrained around it a fair few times as a junior while boarding in Ballarat.

“You want the tailwind on the climb, last year was perfect.”

Hamilton had a successful stint in Europe in 2016 and is already eyeing off some of Australia’s most prestigious races before hopefully returning to Europe for its summer cycling season.

“The whole summer training had been focused on theHerald Sun Tour, the Tour Down Underand the CadelEvans Great Ocean Road Race,” he said.

“You do change your training around to cater for what races you are doing, so that has been a focus.

“You tend to do more days together in training, because you back up day after day in those events.”

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Jul 18

Search continues for missing Wagga swimmer Peter Abd-El-Kaddous

Police divers search the Murrumbidgee River in Wagga on Thursday. Photo: The Daily Advertiser Acting Inspector Phil Malligan from Wagga Police. Photo: The Daily Advertiser
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Peter Abd-El-Kaddous was only meant to be in Wagga over the holidays.

Known as “Pace”, the 42-year-old from Melbourne’s north had travelled to south-western NSW with his wife to spend the festive season with her family.

On Wednesday, as temperatures hovered at 37 degrees, the pair decided to go for a swim to cool off. Within minutes, Mr Abd-El-Kaddous had disappeared below the surface of the Murrumbidgee River, sparking a days-long police search.

Police said locals regularly waded into the river and used the current to float down to a swimming spot known as Wagga Beach.

When Mr Abd-El-Kaddous and his wife – who is from Wagga – tried to do this about 3.30pm on Wednesday, a combination of his three-quarter-length denim pants and the strong current pulled him underwater.

Though his wife tried to keep him afloat, the river swept him away.

He has been missing since Wednesday afternoon, with police, paramedics and rescue volunteers due to resume the search for him at 8am on Friday.

On Thursday, divers from the police Marine Area Command in Sydney took to the river, focusing on an area within several metres of where he was last seen.

Acting Inspector Phil Malligan from Wagga Local Area Command said Mr Abd-El-Kaddous and his wife made it about 20 metres downstream before he disappeared.

“It’s extremely distressing for the family,” Mr Malligan said at the search site on Thursday.

“They’re here in Wagga Wagga visiting from Craigieburn in Victoria, visiting family for the Christmas period. Like a lot of families that return to Wagga, the swimming down here at Wagga Beach has been a popular family activity for many years.

“Unfortunately this family have a tragic end to their Christmas.”

On Friday morning, just before the search resumed, Mr Abd-El-Kaddous’ family released a photo of the 42-year-old.

Mr Malligan said the search was a “recovery operation”, with some pockets of the river up to 8 metres deep.

He said it was a “tragedy” that so many people, across all age groups, had lost their lives in water over the holidays.

“Unfortunately the amount of deaths since Christmas Day is concerning to all members of the community,” he said.

“There’s a number of families across NSW that don’t have loved ones going into New Year’s Eve.”

Ten people have died from drowning in NSW since Christmas.

On Friday morning, police found a body at Maroubra Beach believed to belong to 14-year-old Tui Gallaher, who went missing at the beach on Tuesday.

Twins Robbi and Charli Manago, 23-months-old, died in hospital within days of each other after they were pulled unconscious from their backyard swimming pool in Sydney’s west on December 20.

Grandfather Geoffrey Blackadder, 60, died trying to save his nieces from a rip on Boxing Day, while Nepalese student Sujan Adhikari, 29, died after jumping into a lagoon at the Royal National Park on Christmas Day. \n”,colour:”green”, title:”Search for Peter Abd-El-Kaddous”, maxWidth:200, open:0}] );}if (!window.gmapsLoaders) window.gmapsLoaders = [];window.gmapsLoaders.push(CreateGMapgmap2016113084557);window.gmapsAutoload=true;/*]]>*/]]>

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Jul 18

Strong Bendigo presence at Hanging Rock

IN-FORM: Bendigo trainer is targeting a second straight win with Viva La Dance at Hanging Rock on Sunday. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY/GETTY IMAGESA HANDFUL of Bendigo trainers will target the popular Hanging Rock picnic meeting on New Year’s Day.
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Lee Bennewith, Brad Cole, Danny Curran, Paul Banks, Sean Mott and Adam O’Neill are among those with runners engaged on the six-race program.

Banks will saddle up three-year-old Incision in the opening race on the program, going head-to-head against the Cole-trained debutante Grey Kite, who will be ridden by Bendigo jockey Patrick Holmes.

The pair will again clash in race five with Kinjulator (Cole) and Super Rockstar (Banks).

Bennewith will be looking for back-to-back victories in race two with Viva La Dance, who was an impressive winner at Tatura earlier this month over 1100m.

The six-year-old mare has been a model of consistency with four wins and nine placings in her 21 starts, including a win and four placings in six starts this preparation.

Curran has one-time Bendigo Cup starter Caves entered in the benchmark 58 handicap.

The seven-year-old mare was a last start seventh at Kyneton and is chasing her first win since April and fourth overall.

Caves will be opposed by the Mott-trained Morova Miss.

Six-year-old mare Kenona Road is the solitary O’Neill stable runner on the day and is eyeing her second career win in a benchmark 58 handicap (2400m).

It will be a busy day for Holmes and fellow Bendigo jockey John Keating, with both having a full book of six rides for the afternoon.

BUSY: Patrick Holmes after winning the Schweppes Australia Maiden Plate at Bendigo Racecourse for local trainer Brian Gentle. (Picture: BRETT HOLBURT/GETTY IMAGES

The first race at Hanging Rock starts at 1.50pm, with the last at 5.10pm.

Shuttle buses run to the racecourse from Woodend station for those patrons travelling by train from Bendigo.

Racing will return to Hanging Rock again on Australia Day.

For Sunday’s fields visit 梧桐夜网racing南京夜网/form/2017-01-01/hanging-rock

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Jul 18

Donald Trump’s trade policies become more shocking by the day

Death by China? Peter Navarro, an economist who has urged a hard line on trade with China, will head a newly formed White House National Trade Council. Photo: Andrew HarrerDonald Trump’s assault on trade is escalating. First the foes were China and Mexico. Now it is the world.
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The Trump transition team has mooted an import tariff of 10 per cent across the board, doubling down on earlier talk of a 5 per cent tax. Such thinking is of a different character to Mr Trump’s campaign rhetoric, which mostly hinted at trade sanctions to force concessions.

A catch-all tariff is a change of belief systems. It overthrows the free trade order that has been upheld and policed by Washington since the 1940s.

Congress cannot stop Mr Trump imposing his will by “executive action” under existing US law. The president may impose tariffs of up to 15 per cent for 150 days without having to demonstrate any damage. All he has to do is utter the words “macroeconomic imbalances”, or invoke “national security”, and he can do what he wants.

The thrust is becoming all too clear. Mr Trump’s choice of leader of the White House National Trade Council is a virulent Sinophobe. Without wishing to caricature Peter Navarro, there is a relentless consistency to his work: The Coming China Wars, Death by China: Confronting the Dragon, and Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World.

This is a strategist who thinks that the US is engaged in Hobbesian fight to the finish with a vicious and authoritarian China. By the magic of cognitive dissonance he also thinks the Chinese system is about to “implode”, and that the US should hurry this process along by tightening the economic noose and by launching an arms race in the Pacific – much as the Reagan Doctrine supposedly broke the back of the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

Markets are still behaving as if they will get the “good Trump” (tax cuts and fiscal stimulus) rather than the “bad Trump” (trade wars), despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

In fairness to the Trump camp, we should not be beguiled too easily by free trade pieties, or fall for the canard that the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 caused the Great Depression. It could not possibly have done the damage so often claimed. The US economy was closed in the 1920s. Any trade effect was far too small to bring about a 26 per cent collapse in American GDP.

Few economists would dispute that the US Federal Reserve caused the slump by allowing the money supply to contract, and that this was then transmitted globally by the deformed structure of the Gold Standard in the inter-war years. Protectionism was the consequence.

What trade barriers did do was to shift the relative advantage from surplus to deficit countries. Britain recovered quickly once it broke free of the Gold Standard and retreated behind Imperial Preference.

Personally, I have always been a free trader but there are self-evidently winners and losers. Nor is the raw “Smithian” measure of efficiency – or GDP growth – the relevant metric in a civilisational contest. What matters is power. Trump’s plan ‘economically absurd’

Yet the Trump trade plan does not ultimately add up. It is economically absurd. His fiscal expansion will boost the budget deficit and this will automatically reduce the US savings rate. Such a policy must lead to an increase in capital inflows, and therefore to a greater trade deficit to offset them through the mechanism of a stronger dollar. There is no way around this accounting truism.

As for Mr Navarro’s diatribes against China, they are a decade out of date. Beijing undoubtedly held down its exchange rate to gain export share early in its catch-up phase, gaming the global system with a hard-nosed ruthlessness.

A trio of academics argue in The China Shock that the country’s rise as a global power not only induced “an epochal shift in patterns of world trade”, but also discredited standard trade theory that labour markets adapt easily. The seminal study by David Dorn, David Autor and Gordon Hanson shows that this shock was shattering for those workers and sectors in developed countries facing the brunt of the storm.

“These results should cause us to rethink the short and medium-run gains from trade,” they said.

But we are now in a different phase. The one-off shock of absorbing China has largely occurred. The country is shifting from export-led growth to a consumer economy driven by internal demand.

Chinese wages have been soaring at double-digit rates. The yuan is no longer over-valued. Beijing has burned through $US1 trillion of foreign reserves trying to stop the exchange rate falling as capital leaks out of the country. The world’s problem

The risk is that Mr Trump will detonate a crisis in China and cause capital flight to spin out of control, with global contagion. We had a foretaste of this a year ago. China’s $US30 trillion debt edifice has become the world’s problem.

As for those like Mr Navarro bracing for a superpower showdown, their grim vision may prove self-fulfilling. Some think that Mr Trump’s Washington is walking straight into the “Thucydides Trap” in its handling of China.

The Greek historian argued that the rise of Athens was a mortal threat to established Sparta, and led ineluctably to the Peloponnesian War [a war clouded by passions like fear, hubris and pride].

A Harvard study of 16 such hegemonic rivalries over the last 500 years found that three-quarters ended in war, with the clinching example said to be the Anglo-German battle for global mastery before 1914.

Whether or not the First World War really fits this schema is an open question. And note that Sparta – not Athens – won the Peloponnesian War. But there is no doubt that we are entering very dangerous waters.

The Daily Telegraph, London

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.